Tiger hopes ‘fresh’ approach pays off

Updated: September 28, 2015
Could Werribee's Jake Wilson find himself on an AFL list in 2016? Picture: ARJ GIESE
Could Werribee's Jake Wilson find himself on an AFL list in 2016? Picture: ARJ GIESE

Could Werribee’s Jake Wilson find himself on an AFL list in 2016? Picture: ARJ GIESE

JAKE Wilson called it his `freshen up’ day.

Every Thursday during the season Wilson, a plumber by trade, would down his tools and head to Avalon Airport Oval for a gym session and review some vision of his upcoming opponent with Werribee coach John Lamont.

Wilson knew he couldn’t continue being a full-time worker and part-time footballer if he was serious about giving himself the best opportunity to showcase his talents to AFL recruiters.

“The last few years I’ve been working on a Friday and slogging around in the mud and then rolling up on a Saturday and you’ve got to play on AFL players who’ve been sipping lattes on Fridays,” Wilson said.

“So on Thursdays I get into the club and have a chat to `JL’ (Lamont) and go for a workout in the gym. It’s a chance to freshen up and just get myself right to go for the weekend.”

It proved a wise move as Wilson enjoyed the most consistent season of his VFL career and scored an invite to the AFL Draft’s State Combine in Melbourne on October 11.

The 23-year-old played every game for Werribee, averaging 10.4 possessions, 4.2 marks and just under two tackles a match playing on the best forwards – some who were AFL-listed – every week and was named full back in the VFL Team of the Year.

His form should also ensure the 193cm and 94kg key defender will be one of the contenders to win Werribee’s best and fairest, which will be announced on October 1.

“Last year I had to work on my defensive game a lot and I did that,” Wilson said.

“This year I needed to maintain that as well as getting a bit more of the ball and I really wanted to focus on, every week, taking a couple of intercept marks and I think I did that a little bit more.

“I got off my opponent and won a bit more of the ball and wasn’t worried about just defending all the time. I made them think about me a bit more.”

Wilson was invited to the draft combine two years ago, but a ruptured spleen suffered late in the season meant he was unable to do any fitness testing.

This time around he’s eager to make the most of the opportunity to prove he’s ready to take the next step in his footy career and become the latest Werribee product to graduate to the AFL.

“This year I needed to focus on my fitness and I did that but I still think I’ve got a long way to go with that and if I got into a full-time environment I could really improve my fitness even further,” Wilson said.

“(Combine invite) shows that clubs are interested in me I suppose. I still think I’ve got heaps more improvement in me so I’m looking forward to it.

“Hopefully I can get an opportunity. I’ve worked pretty hard for it over the last few years.”

Twitter: @GreenBradley

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